Since this was on a motocross track I already knew to expect hills. They did not disappoint. The crew took great advantage of the course topography. I also noticed many mud/water pits. The weekend before, we had torrential rainstorms that seem to have added to the course unintentionally, but with great positive effect because it made the already technical course, even more so. The competitive heat lined up in the starting gates and we received our Pre-Race announcement from Dan Clark, along with special course instructions for the competitive wave. Once complete, we were off.
The Death Race is a physical, mental and emotional journey. It is designed to break you, to teach you, if you’re willing, a lesson about yourself. It’s up to the individual to see the lesson in the journey. Some people will focus on the wrong things and be consumed with, “It’s not fair!” and “That person is cheating!” Others, even some first time participants, will let go of what they can’t control and not give it another thought. They will go from one task to the next with no preconception, no rating or judgment system, they will simply go. Life isn’t fair, neither is the Death Race.
When I was 18 months old, I was accidentally shot by a .22 caliber round. When I was 12 years old, my father and I almost drowned in the Gulf of Mexico (he was resuscitated on the beach). When I was 16, I was involved in a head on collision at 50 mph and walked away from the wreckage with just a scratch on my knee.
I’m continually inspired by combat vets like Noah Galloway, Todd Love, Earl Granville and Edward Lychik doing obstacle races despite injuries that would hold back lesser men. When I think about that, I stop feeling sorry for myself and push harder toward my goals.I don’t have a story like theirs. Mine is probably more like most Americans, until I decided to change the ending. Two events drove the plot: First, my marriage falling apart, then volunteering at an obstacle course race.
The Spartan Death Race. Just the name is enough to scare most away. However on June 27th, 300 elite athletes will arrive in the small town of Pittsfield, VT to prove their might. So, just what is the Spartan Death Race (SDR)? The SDR is a true test of endurance in that the race will last anywhere from 24-72 hours. The competitors are not given a map beforehand, nor are the aware of what challenges await. Challenges range from physical (chopping wood, 30 mile hike with rocks, etc) to mental (memorizing the names of the first 10 U.S. presidents or bible verse and then hike to the top of a mountain and recite them back in order).
We were lucky again to have the legion himself Sean Covelle to do our start. Sean did a great job as always motivating the crowd. The start speak is a little heavy on the Mudder Legion stuff, but still great. I was standing at the back of the starting area when Sean asked for the 10+ Legionnaires to stand, all 3 of us stood up, me at the back and the other 2 right up front. Sean asked me to crowd surf to the front and do the countdown. Which of course I did with a huge smile on my face, a quick countdown from 10 and we were off.